An Odd1's Reviews > Chicks in Chainmail

Chicks in Chainmail by Esther M. Friesner
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's review
Mar 14, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, xrate, fun, action
Read in March, 2012

Settings intrigue, but action and surprise weak. Some are engaging with fights and magic, but go nowhere. Could be rated higher, but not compared to Fredric Brown's From these Ashes Complete

1 Lady of Steel, Roger Zelazny
Nickname proves growing fame of Cora, alter identity so former cook Corak, now taken seriously as warrior.
3* (Spoiler: Older Edwina cleanses his thigh wound, "respects" what she sees, will keep secret.)

2 And Ladies of the Club, Elizabeth Moon
To thwart king's new tax on extra female upper armor, Sophora Segundiflora, towering in body and intellect, contracts plastic wizard at tuppence each per temporary reversible reduction mammoplasty.
4* (King yields because treasury medical budget drained, prince's face needs fixing for arriving fiancee.)

3 Exchange Program, Susan Shwartz
Hilary Rodham Clinton in train wreck taken to Valhalla by Valkyries.
1* (She uses her First Lady experience to argue with Odin and get home.)

4 Goddess for a Day, Harry Turtledove
Peisistratos dresses farmer Phye as Athena on chariot, fools Athens accepts his rule.
1* (Forgotten in background, Phye has to kick horny satyr in swollen parts for safety.)

5 Armor-Ella, Holly Lisle
Big beautiful Ella falls for greedy handsome prince, enlists Little Folk of Enchanted Forest to fool him.
3* (He falls for her too, and trickery, and shapes up.)

6 Career Day, Margaret Ball
Narrator mercenary takes daughter's fourth grade class and assisting math teacher Dennis on tour of magic planet where she works, but cheating hunky Vordo, warrior thews she lusts for, wants to beat her in fight.
4* (Calculus and geometry defeat wizard illegally helping hunk win; Dennis cuter too.)

7 Armor/Amore, David Vierling
Cromag the Barbarian rescues lovely Edaina according to the Barbarian Code.
2* (She resists with the help of a cast-iron frypan, until he agrees to marriage.)

8 The Stone of War and the Nightingale's Egg, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
Narrator queen Boadecia appointed maid to dainty spoiled Lotus, tries to help them both, as newest harem additions, to survive king and first wife Tai Tai politics. She switches girl's jewel gift with Sun Zoo's hypnotic head stone he uses to train fighters, when he tries to kill Lotus.
3* (Boadecia uses stone and trickery to train harem girls to take down royal guard in six weeks to win bet against Sun Zoo and save all their lives. Happy ending = all unified and faithful.)

9 The Growling, Jody Lynn Nye
Periods all coincide for women of Hee Kwal tribe when men gone over a year so berserker rage combats Abbs, Delts and Pex of Ma Cho and Buh Bah invading to Par Tee.
1* (I did not get all the puns - equal vs muscled macho partyers.)

10 The New Britomart, eluki bes shahar
Titania Queen of Fairies wants Feb 1821 tournament to eliminate Rowena and Wilfrid so she can marry Sir Arthur Mallory at Camelot Court, but Rowena magics in Templar Sir Brian de Bois-Gulibert and blacksmith's daughter enters to win Wilfrid.
1* (I do not know what Britomart is or other references like Brian. Happy ending puts all - Rowena, Wilfred to catalog books for Titania's dragon instead of serving as the virgin sacrifice - back in Brian's book.)

11 On the Road of Silver, Mark Bourne
Fired by the new Planetarium boss, garden destroyed by slugs, Mrs Batchett is reminded she gave up warrior's life for love of human by a fairy, elf, and gnome.
1* (Trio reveal her absent-minded professor husband is her beloved.)

12 Bra Melting, Janni Lee Simner
Narrator sells chain mail for women, but thongs and bikini offer no protection, thinks no problem, even when dissatisfied customer staggers in wounded.
3* (Many unhappy clients join opposing side for full-coverage armor. Not sure about "thong bikini codpiece".)

13 The Old Grind, Laura Frankos
Giant Fenia tired of grinding salt, leaves home, joins Vikings for battles.
2* (Half blind Odin mistakes her for Valkyrie, takes her to Valhalla; she asks to go home.)

14 The Way to a Man's Heart, Esther Friesner
Since witches changed so many princes to frogs and killed them for special potion, school claims best swordmaiden win competition. Amaryllis fibs to get Prince Destino from dragon and engagement to sister Princess Dimity of Yither.
3* (Sister does want school, gives credit and Destino to Amar.)

15 Whoops!, Nancy Springer
Guardian angel Opal dislikes bumps when angry drivers give her cowardly 45mph slow Meggie the finger on the beltway commute.
2* (Encouraged when Opal slices off bumpkins' gesturing hands, "Mags" speeds up 5 mph.)
These were in the days of 70+mph freeways.

16 The Guardswoman, Lawrence Watt-Evans
Narrator Shannar, first and only female city guard, writes letters to Mother, feels left out when other fellows regularly visit Whore Street together.
3* (Shannar joins them to find why they all go, befriends bouncer -> baby, marriage congratulations)

17 Teacher's Pet, Josepha Sherman
Guard Vassilia chases kidnappers of her Duke's son, when teacher Semyan accidentally changes them, not the attacking criminals, into cats, then mice.
3* (Finally as talking wolves they frighten away crooks, rescue boy, stay partners in human form.)

18 Were-Wench, Jan Stirling
Decades after rejected on her wedding day for fairy by Feric, now uptight Terion brings him magic books hoping he can lift curse that turns her into slut on full moon.
2* (Feric convinces Terion to accept her wild side, and they go off together.)

19 Blood Calls to Blood, Elisabeth Waters
Cop Lucy, with complicated fairy parentage, goes under Hill to rescue son Michael.
2* (Daughter Cynthia makes holy water for drinking and toy pistols with sea salt, their bodies are so bright the fairies give up Michael.)

20 Maureen Birnbaum in the MUD, George Alec Effinger
All in italics excepts CAPITALS, narrator Bitsy, now rich divorced mother, hears best bestest ever friend Muffy, like you know natter, like pre-teens. She applies face make-up and quest in Multi User Dungeon buys supplies, kills gooey globs, gains ultimate treasure.
2* (Few hours later, taxi to rich Mars prince gone, Muffy offers to buy meal with jewels.)
Why were there no other "multi" users?
I kept hoping something important would interrupt. No.
In my young and foolish days, I had stages for frivolous luxuries - facial cosmetics and computer games - to wait for meaning to life, when I observed others happy even more committed in lifestyles and industries, and alternative death. This babble questions waste of time, regret, but I could only make same choices.

8 p112 & 118 empire for emporer
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